A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood: (Review)

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A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood: (Review)

Credit: TriStar Pictures, Tencent Pictures, Big Beach, Sony Pictures

Credit: TriStar Pictures, Tencent Pictures, Big Beach, Sony Pictures

Credit: TriStar Pictures, Tencent Pictures, Big Beach, Sony Pictures

Credit: TriStar Pictures, Tencent Pictures, Big Beach, Sony Pictures

Brock London

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Fred Rogers was a television host of all 895 episodes of Mister Rogers Neighborhood, a show he also created. He helped save public media, and without him shows like Sesame Street wouldn’t even exist. The man influenced many in his life, which isn’t a surprise when it is said he responded to all of his fan mail. “‘He respected the kids who wrote [those letters],’ Heather Arnet, an assistant on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2005. ‘He never thought about throwing out a drawing or letter. They were sacred.’”-Mental Floss. 

His fan mail was not your typical idolization letter. Children would often write to Mr. Rogers about their problems; a pet dying at home, parents getting divorced, and even asking ‘what does war mean?’ Why would children be asking questions like this to their idol? It’s because Fred Rogers encouraged it. On his show, he covered these rather dark topics. 

As he said on May 1st, 1969 in his testimony to the senate, “I feel that if we in public television, can only make it clear, those feelings are mentionable and manageable. We would have done a great service for mental health.” Rogers wanted children to know that the world is not perfect. He wanted them to know that they will have struggles. He wanted to teach children that despite all the issues in the world, they should try to find love in others and themselves. As he said at the end of the show, “You always make each day a special day. You know how? By just you being you. Only one person in the whole world like you. That’s you yourself.” Imagine if every week a child was told that. How much good it would do for the world. 

As a man who changed many, it’s not a surprise when A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood is based on someone’s life being changed by Mr. Rogers. Tom Junod in 1998 wrote for Esquire on an account of heroes. He was assigned Mr. Rogers, and the two developed a friendship that lasted into Fred Roger’s passing. Llyod Vogel, a fictional character in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is adapted from Tom Junod, and the movie itself is based on his friendship with Mr. Rogers. Although Fred Rogers is not known as well these days. There are those that still know and look up to him. Sophia Stark (10) talks a little about her experience with Mr. Rogers. “I think I know who he is because of church. Also, my parents mentioned him a bunch being a good role model.” Raphael Stark (9) piped in saying, “We haven’t seen the movie, but we would like to.” Raphael also commented that it seemed very interesting and looked to convey a good message. 

It’s that good feeling that drawn many to the theaters to watch A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Also what drew in many, now adults, to watch Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood as a kid. What’s most important is that we not forget the many lessons Fred Roger’s told. 

“… It’s great to be able to stop

When you’ve planned a thing that’s wrong,

And be able to do something else instead

And think this song:

 

I can stop when I want to

Can stop when I wish

I can stop, stop, stop any time.

And what a good feeling to feel like this

And know that the feeling is really mine.

Know that there’s something deep inside

That helps us become what we can.

For a girl can be someday a woman

And a boy can be someday a man.” – Fred Rogers